Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fatalism and Frivolity: NOLA

I just got back from NOLA a couple of weeks ago. I picked up a true crime book there called Shake the Devil Off. 

Basically it's a sad story about an Iraq war vet who returned to his home in NOLA just in time for Katrina. He wound up in a troubled relationship and eventually murdered his girlfriend, cut up her corpse, and cooked it. He then committed suicide by jumping off the roof of a 5 star hotel, alerting the police to the murder via a detailed note in his pocket.

I love true crime novels, particularly when they are well written. This book was great. The author covers off many issues through this horrible story including the futility of the Iraq war, the abysmal treatment of US vets, on to Katrina and the Bush administration's malignant neglect of the citizens of NOLA. It's not exactly sympathetic to the murderer, as the author explains it, it's his intention to explain the circumstances of the murder/suicide, but not to explain the crimes away. He does a great job.

It got me thinking about Katrina all over again, and the impact it's had on residents of New Orleans.
And about disaster capitalism in Iraq, Afghanistan and even in North Amercia as communities keep getting devastated by natural disasters. Obviously as the climate continues to warm there will be more Katrinas.

I liked the city a great deal. I'm reading another book now called The New Orleans Voodoo Handbook 
It discusses a lot of the history of the city and then goes into the practice and traditions of Voodoo in the city. In one passage a resident says that NOLA residents represent fatalism and frivolity. You totally get that when you visit.

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